Digitizing sponsorU.S. Federal Works Agency, Works Projects Administration (WPA)
05:11:27:00 We Work Again
Amazing glimpse of African-American life during the Great Depression.
This film acknowledges the fact that African-Americans were
disproportionately unemployed. There are scenes of forward-looking programs
of housing renovation and public works in Harlem, as well as pre-school and
adult education. However, there are also some painful scenes in which
African-American women - "girls" - are being trained as cooks and maids, or
being taught child care with white dolls.
05:11:50:00 med shot of African-American man sitting on pavement, head on
VO - "Only a few years ago..."
05:11:52:00 MCU of African-American man sitting in front of brick wall
VO - "...we were a discouraged people."
05:11:53:00 MCU of older African American man reading newspaper on front
VO - "Because we were the first to lose our jobs...
05:11:55:00 MCU of another older African American man sitting on steps,
VO - "...when old man depression came along, and the last..."
05:11:57:00 med wide shot of African American man sitting on front stoop,
older African American woman watching him, going inside doorway
VO - "...to get them back, we struggled vainly..."
05:11:59:00 MCU of several young African American men reading newspaper
VO - "...to regain our bearings while depression,..."
05:12:01:00 MCU of African American man lighting cigarette
VO - "... fear, and failure stalked the nation."
05:12:03:00 MCU of young African American man carving piece of wood with
VO - "A tenth of the population..."
05:12:05:00 med shot of two African-American men seated at campfire -
VO - "... of the United States, we formed as a race..."
05:12:07:00 med shot of two African-American men seated on steps
VO - "...over a sixth of the unemployed."
05:12:09:00 med wide shot of African-American woman seated on stoop with
head in hands
VO - "One in four of us was on relief."
05:17:27:00 med shot of kitchen - three African-American women working as
VO - "As part of the program of rehabilitation..."
05:17:30:00 MCU of one cook’s hands making cookie/tea cake
VO - "...and the conservation of human resources, a number of household
training schools have been established by WPA. In these schools, girls from
relief families are prepared for domestic work which will make them
self-supporting. Others take the course to learn the arts of homemaking..."
05:17:44:00 med shot of African-American women working in institutional
VO - "...for use in their own homes. In modern kitchens under competent
05:17:47:00 MCU of woman’s hand preparing food
VO - "...the girls are taught to cook and to prepare salads and other
delicacies which add much to everyday meals."
05:17:53:00 med shot of woman taking sheet of cookies from oven
05:18:00:00 med wide shot of African-American women in maid’s uniforms
VO - "Here’s where you may be able to learn something: this is the way the
girls are taught to make..."
05:18:05:00 MCU of woman’s hands tucking in corners of sheet
VO - "...beds, an art which [sound problem]"
05:18:11:00 med shot of African-American woman in maid outfit fluffing huge
white pillows, making bed
VO - "These household training courses have already sent hundreds of girls
out into the world well able to secure domestic positions and able to
command skilled workers’ wages."
05:18:22:00 med shot of African-American nurse with white baby doll showing
two young African-American woman how to hold a baby
VO - "Health education is an important part of the WPA program. At a number
of health centers in large cities, qualified instructors..."(05:18:29:00)
05:18:30:00 MCU of African-American nurse’s hands caring for white baby doll
VO - "...teach groups of women first aid methods and the proper care of
March 25, 2018 Subject:
There's Irony in this, of course too...
Very very curious film, parts of which I've seen before, (with the black choir singing) that tells how black people are working again! This all could be celebrated except for the fact that for every scene I saw, I kept adding stuff. EG, we see people making appetizers and I added, "for the white man", some lady making a bed, I thought "for the white man", there's a scene where a housing development was being built which I wanted to add to the narration, "that none of you black people will ever get a chance to live in". I'm not being racist of course, because the film is full of segregation. Look at the pool! The parks! See any white people? I guess my concern over this film is while people should be praising that they were working after the Big Depression, they still had a long way to go.